A Lesson in the Leaves

Tultepec I’ve been thinking a lot about death recently, or perhaps, it is death that has been thinking of me. Did I ever tell you I can see ghosts? It’s true; I see ‘em all the time. On the freeway, under florescent lights, at the dinner table, in the mirror. When you’ve known Death and its many faces, you know that the thing about the dead is–they remind us to live. So, I suppose, what I really should be saying is; recently I have been thinking a lot about life. 

There are many ghosts to be found in the fall. Not just in the painted faces donning Halloween’s grin, but in the way death litters the ground with it’s decayed trinkets heralding summer’s end. Autumn has finally arrived in California, and the last leaves atop my family tree have begun to wither away like the last lick of embers in an arid hearth. All the men who had raised me are either dead or dying, and I steel myself for what will be a long and weary winter chasing the spirits of my fathers.

I am trying to find the beauty in the changing of leaves, but it’s all I can do to seek some semblance of warmth amidst the coldest season of my life. Indeed, I am reminded by the mist of their dwindling breath, to live the life they couldn’t. To do what I must to survive until spring’s sun thaws the ice that made a home in my heart. For now, I dream about life, and I think about death, and I see ghosts in the shivering trees. There will always be a longing to see green leaves back on those barren branches; now I know this is called grief. 

– ian galloway

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